Brazilian drivers unable to get home win in Sao Paulo

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The Sao Paulo Indy 300 received a new champion this afternoon, but to the chagrin of the Brazilian fans in attendance at Anhembi Park, it wasn’t one of their own.

KV Racing Technology’s Tony Kanaan (pictured) had the best shot to give those fans a home victory. Torn ligaments in his right hand didn’t stop the 2004 IZOD IndyCar Series champion from making his way to the lead at Lap 10, which triggered a loud response from his countrymen in the stands.

Kanaan lost the lead on pit road during a caution period, but still managed to stay toward the front until he once again re-assumed the point at Lap 45 with a cross-over move on Ryan Hunter-Reay coming out of Turn 11.

However, former teammate Marco Andretti wrestled the lead from him shortly after, and on Lap 51, Kanaan suddenly slowed down and eventually crawled to a stop on the Sambadromo frontstretch with his car out of fuel. What had appeared to be a potential win eventually became a 21st place finish, three laps down.

But at least he had some time at the front of the field unlike his compatriots, Helio Castroneves and Ana Beatriz, who both had an unhappy homecoming.

Starting 18th, Castroneves had contact with teammate Will Power in the opening stint and then spun out following contact with Scott Dixon in Turn 2 on a Lap 27 restart. His long day continued on Lap 40, when Sebastien Bourdais hit him and triggered a multi-car stack-up that also involved Simon Pagenaud, J.R. Hildebrand and Charlie Kimball.

He would eventually come home in 13th place, falling from first to third in the championship behind race runner-up Takuma Sato and Marco Andretti as the Indianapolis 500 looms.

Beatriz, driving for Dale Coyne Racing, was the day’s first casualty as she suffered a terminal mechanical failure on her No. 18 Honda at Lap 7.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”